Around Town Tellers
CHRISTINE CLARKE-JOHNSEN belonged to a storytelling group and Toastmasters in Iowa before moving to Nanaimo to live in 2015.
She was delighted to find that storytelling was very much alive in Nanaimo and became an enthusiastic, active member of the Around Town Tellers.
She enjoys telling stories that touch people’s hearts or make them laugh.
A retired teacher turned writer and artist, Christine has had several short stories published in magazines. She is currently working on a humorous chapter book as well as writing and illustrating a children’s picture book.
Meet Some of Our Storytellers
Story runs deep into my soul. From the age of 2, I have been telling tales to strangers on trains, to passengers on busses, to listeners at events.
Story to me brings delight to our world. All it takes is a simple phrase from a child to create a meaningful story. When that story is shared, history is preserved.
Sharing story with each other is our greatest gift. Come join me on this journey of listening and sharing.
MARVA K. BLACKMORE is a storyteller, writer, and workshop leader.
She has told stories internationally and at venues across Canada including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She brings a long and varied life experience to her storytelling – be it her personal stories, historical tales, epic renderings, folk and fairy tales, or literary stories. She has delighted audiences at festivals, coffee houses and on concert stages.
She is a Past President of the Storytellers of Canada, and also belongs to the Mid-Island StoryTellers in Parksville/Qualicum Beach as well as the Around Town Tellers in Nanaimo.
As the founder and Artistic Director of Tales for the Telling, Storytelling for Adults, at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville, BC, she produces a monthly storytelling event showcasing professional storytellers from Canada and the United States performing juried programs.
She teaches courses in Storytelling and also leads workshops in Memoir Writing Using Storytelling Techniques. She recently published her first books: Telling Your Story: A Guide to Writing Your Memoir Stories and Telling Your Story: The Book of Memories.
You can reach her at her website: www.wordweaver.info or e-mail her at storyteller.marva(at)shaw.ca
SANDY COLE moved to Nanaimo in 1989, from Ontario where she told stories with volunteer groups and children in her daycare.
After taking the Around Town Tellers' storytelling workshop in 2007, Sandy discovered the joy of telling to an adult audience and has never looked back.
You will see Sandy and her husband Bev making the coffee and organizing the treats for Stories on Friday, where Sandy is a regular teller. She and her husband lovingly provide daycare for their granddaughter (and her small army of friends) and run a small bed and breakfast, Bev & Sandy's Place.
Sandy often writes and tells her own stories, personal stories, fictional stories, and wonder tales. She tells in schools, festivals, senior residences, libraries, children's radio, the Nanaimo Odyssey Epic weekend and the Port Theater 2011 Studio series.
Sandy is thrilled to now be one of the helpers at the very same story telling workshop that started her off, on this life changing, heart warming path, of adult storytelling.
NOEL LEWIS-WATTS has enjoyed stories all his life. This all started with the stories his mother used to tell.
As a child, Noel loved going to the local library every Saturday morning to hear the librarian read stories. He also listened to a CBC radio program called Let’s Pretend. Growing up was a series of upheavals and he heard and lived many stories.
Years later, he re- connected with stories when he married the love of his life, Margaret Murphy. Noel also had a radio program sharing music and stories for children, always with an underlying message helping them cope with life.
He also played the harmonica in several bands and accompanied a pianist at Kiwanis in a music program. Currently, he volunteers at the local hospital in the Palliative Care Unit.
When not telling personal stories, Noel is the sound man for the Around Town Tellers.
RACHEL DUNSTAN MULLER is a personal historian, a former technical writer for the forest industry, the author of four juvenile novels, and a long-time contributor to Island Parent Magazine.
In 2010 she discovered the art of oral storytelling, and she's been writing and telling stories in all kinds of interesting venues ever since. She particularly enjoys crafting historical tales with a dash of magic realism.
MARGARET MURPHY shares many passions: storytelling, writing and teaching. One of her main interests is celebrating the stories of women of courage and grace.
A founding member of Nanaimo's Around Town Tellers, Margaret also coaches individuals and groups in the art and craft of storytelling.
In 2016, she launched her latest story: The Wideness and Wonder of Georgia O’Keeffe at the Nanaimo Fringe Festival.
Story remains the connecting thread in Margaret’s work as community builder. (www.Margaretmurphyspeaker.com)
LEE PORTEOUS became interested in storytelling after hearing a two part “Ideas” on CBC in 1986 but did little about it until joining the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild in 2006.
She takes every opportunity to tell stories to adults but participates in the local Speech and Dramatic Arts section of the Festival of the Performing Arts to encourage and recruit future storytellers.
She has told stories wherever invited, for example, during church services, the annual children’s memorial ceremony, a 40th wedding anniversary, a fundraiser, the library courtyard for Culture Days. In short, wherever there are those wonderful story folk: the story listeners.
She is also a frequent host for the Around Town Tellers.
CINDY SHANTZ has written and published short stories, personal essays and poetry, and has also written and produced a play, but once she tried storytelling she was hooked!
She loves the connection with the audience and has entertained and inspired audiences from Vancouver Island to Switzerland.
Cindy mainly tells personal stories which range from her humorous vision of a perfect 50th high school reunion to her first experience skydiving when she was 69.
Along with Judy Millar, she is a member of the storytelling duo, WordChickz. You can visit their website at wordchickz.com
Now Hear Some of Their Stories
Around Town Tellers is a proud member of the Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada (SC-CC), the national organization of storytellers and story listeners, and a major supporter of their StorySave project.
If you would like to listen to more audio stories, Storytellers of Canada has an internet radio station plus selected recordings from their StorySave CDs which you can listen to FOR FREE.
Click on the SC-CC logo to listen to SC-Radio-CC.
There is a 30-second introductory logo before each story. Please feel free to drag your cursor along the lower bar of each video to the start of the story.